For a missionary to develop an understanding of Cambodian forms and meanings is essential in order to be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. This is done through systematic study of the history, culture and worldview of a nation, but cannot be purely academic.
Even though a person may understand the words you are using, they are substituting the meaning of those words in relation to their own cultural understanding. To be an effective communicator, you have to know and understand both your own culture and receptor culture so that you can assure the message is being communicated effectively.
We live in an instant high-tech age where ways of communicating and relating change rapidly and drastically. We must always remember and even force ourselves to be physically, personally and intimately engage people in a real world. We are called to be agents of change, but transformational change, in the real world.